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Charlie Donut

New in Town
Messages
3
I picked up a lightly used recent Schott horsehide jacket. It’s nice, but has a really strong smell. Not smoke, not leathery scent, but almost like some kind of cleaning product that’s very strong and perfumy.

If I wear for long, starts making me a little woozy.

My 2 questions:
- Is this normal or do I did the seller use some weird product on it?
- What’s the best way to get rid of such potent smell?
 
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Madhouse27

One of the Regulars
Messages
165
It appears that most people deal with smelly leather jackets by selling them on eBay.

Seriously though, I know where you’re coming from. At times, I’ve actually had better luck dealing with old smoke odors than getting rid of the overpowering ”artificially clean” smell. The commonly used original scent Fabreeze is one that I find particularly offensive...and hard to get rid of. Mustiness is an even more difficult foe.

I don‘t have any foolproof system, but my usual attempts include a good brushing, several thorough wipe downs with water, vodka spray bottle to the liner, lots of fresh air and some sunlight and maybe a conditioning. If I can get the jacket so I can be in the same room with it, I hang it over a chair in the kitchen and give some of the different cooking aromas a chance to compete with (and kind of dull) the offending odor. I’ve also put a jacket in a large plastic trash bag with a candle (unlit) that I like the scent of for a few days.

If all efforts fail, to eBay it goes (with a disclaimer of course).
 

abbaralph

Familiar Face
Messages
98
Location
Beaverton Oregon
I have washed a few smelly leather jackets in the washer and dried them in the dryer and then had to condition them because they were dried out. Also stored them immersed in baking soda for a while did the trick
 

VansonRider

One of the Regulars
Messages
220
I had a fabreezed Barbour I had to contend with. I turned it inside out, hosed the lining with vinegar, and hung it on the fire escape in the shade for a few days.
That didn’t work.
I brought it back inside, re spray with vinegar, cold rinsed the liner with the shower sprayer, let it drip dry, vinegar spray AGAIN, then fire escape for three days.
That brought the fabreeze smell down to where I could wear the thing. I’ve now had it for a while, in regular rotation for wet days, and it’s fine.
It took the vinegar, the cold rinsing, and the days outside just to knock the perfume down to wearable levels. It took time, but I wasn’t going to wash the wax out.
Oh! And after all that I did reproof with dressing.
It’s totally possible to clean a no wash jacket, it takes time, but it’s possible.
 

Will Zach

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,469
Location
SoFlo
Fabreeze is brutal to remove. Unfortunately some sellers use it. If the jacket is made out of leather, repeated vinegar treatments could damage it. I'd try to return it. Perfumy smells drive me nuts.
 

VansonRider

One of the Regulars
Messages
220
It’s possible…. But modern chrome tanned leather has a PH between 3.5-5 or so, it’s already on the acidic side of the scale. White Vinegar is usually around 2.5-3 PH. Then take into account it’s being sprayed on with a plant mister...
I wouldn't lose any sleep on it. Guys on here have run leather jackets through the washing machine... I wouldn't do that myself, but I do think modern chrome tanned leather is one of the most durable and forgiving of materials. My hand would fall off before I could spray enough vinegar to hurt it.
 

Kunja

Practically Family
Messages
663
Location
Washington DC Metro
The washing machine can work depending on the jacket. Try leaving it out in direct sunlight for a day or two. The UV can work wonders on odors (especially mildew smells). Maybe it will get rid of febreeze as well.
 

Nacho

Practically Family
Messages
537
Agreed with VansonRider.

I’ve sprayed white vinegar on my vintage jackets many times. These are usually 50 - 60 years old. And they are just fine. I’d recommend mixing water with the vinegar as well. I usually do 50/50.

OP can also try vodka. The cheap stuff will do.

The last resort is to rent an ozone generator. I rented one for $50/day locally.
 

sweetfights

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,231
Location
Canada
I have washed leather jackets, even old ones, in cold water, gentle cycle, cold water then dried in front of fans, over a period of a few days. If liners were dirty or had odors, I would use "Nature's Miracle". It has enzymes that break down, safely, odor-causing molecules. However, using an ozone generator is a great idea. These can be purchased for approximately $100 bucks.
 

AeroFan_07

I'll Lock Up
Messages
5,347
Location
Iowa
I picked up a lightly used recent Schott horsehide jacket. It’s nice, but has a really strong smell. Not smoke, not leathery scent, but almost like some kind of cleaning product that’s very strong and perfumy.

If I wear for long, starts making me a little woozy.

My 2 questions:
- Is this normal or do I did the seller use some weird product on it?
- What’s the best way to get rid of such potent smell?
The simplest way to deal with this jacket is to move it along. Be honest with the description.

And yes to "washing" but "no" to "drying" a jacket in a dryer. Leather will shrink when exposed to heat. Just let it air dry. But be aware if you wash it with a standard detergent, such as Tide, it will now smell like that detergent.
 

Bahabp100

Practically Family
Messages
806
I picked up a lightly used recent Schott horsehide jacket. It’s nice, but has a really strong smell. Not smoke, not leathery scent, but almost like some kind of cleaning product that’s very strong and perfumy.

If I wear for long, starts making me a little woozy.

My 2 questions:
- Is this normal or do I did the seller use some weird product on it?
- What’s the best way to get rid of such potent smell?
Couple hours locked in room with ozone machine
 

Charlie Donut

New in Town
Messages
3
I picked up a lightly used recent Schott horsehide jacket. It’s nice, but has a really strong smell. Not smoke, not leathery scent, but almost like some kind of cleaning product that’s very strong and perfumy.

If I wear for long, starts making me a little woozy.

My 2 questions:
- Is this normal or do I did the seller use some weird product on it?
- What’s the best way to get rid of such potent smell?
Thanks everyone for answering.

I opted to try not spraying anything on it. Instead I took something approximately in line with the ozone machine route.

I kept it out and put an air purifier with ionizer next to it for days and days, around 2 weeks. At that point I wore it outside in the sunlight 5 or 6 days and now the smell is almost gone.
 

Al 916

One Too Many
Messages
1,688
Location
GB
I use a polythene box, small so more concentration and it can sit for a day in the meadow (My partner is asthmatic and will not tolerate ozone within 100 yards).

You do not want to inhale a room full of that....
 
Last edited:
Messages
10,291
I use a polythene box, small so more concentration and it can sit for a day in the meadow (My partner is asthmatic will not tolerate ozone within 100 yards).

You do not want to inhale a room full of that....

That’s the best way.

When I periodically ozone my vehicle interiors I throw jackets in the car to get in on some of the action.
 

VansonRider

One of the Regulars
Messages
220
Thanks everyone for answering.

I opted to try not spraying anything on it. Instead I took something approximately in line with the ozone machine route.

I kept it out and put an air purifier with ionizer next to it for days and days, around 2 weeks. At that point I wore it outside in the sunlight 5 or 6 days and now the smell is almost gone.
Always always always smart to go with a less invasive solution and work from there.
 

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